A Topographical Dictionary of England. Originally published by S Lewis, London, 1848.
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Billingham (St. Cuthbert)
BILLINGHAM (St. Cuthbert), a parish, in the union of Stockton-Upon-Tees, N. E. division of Stockton ward, S. division of the county of Durham; comprising the townships of Cowpen-Bewley and NewtonBewley, and the chapelry of Wolviston; and containing 1653 inhabitants, of whom 782 are in the township of Billingham, 2½ miles (N. N. E.) from Stockton. This place is distinguished as the scene of a battle fought in the time of Eardulph, King of Northumbria. It was given to the convent of Durham by William the Conqueror, upon a scrap of parchment which is preserved among the muniments there, and which is not so large as the space occupied by this notice. The parish comprises 5409a. 2r. 25p.: it is bounded on the south and east by the river Tees; and the road from Stockton to Sunderland passes through the village. The Clarence railway commences at Port Clarence, about three miles distant eastward, near Haverton Hill, north of the river Tees, in the parish, where shipping staiths have been erected; and pursues a course nearly east till it joins the Stockton and Darlington railway at Sim Pasture, in the parish of Heighington. The Stockton and Hartlepool railway quits the Clarence railway here by a gentle curve, and proceeds in a north-eastern direction. The Living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £11. 3. 1½.; patrons, the Dean and Chapter of Durham. The great tithes have been commuted for £810. 18., and the vicarial tithes for £132. 11.; there are also about 110 acres of glebe appurtenant to the vicarage. The original church, of which little remains, is supposed to have been built by Egbrid, Bishop of Lindisfarn, about the year 830, and to have been given by him to the church of St. Cuthbert, Durham; the present edifice is very ancient, with pointed arches, and a lofty Norman tower. The chapel of Wolviston forms a separate incumbency. There is a place of worship for Methodists.
Billinghay (St. Michael)
BILLINGHAY (St. Michael), a parish, in the union of Sleaford, First division of the wapentake of Langoe, parts of Kesteven, county of Lincoln, 9½ miles (N. E.) from Sleaford; containing, with the townships of Dogdyke and Walcott, 2095 inhabitants. The parish comprises 7827a. 2r. 22p., and is situated on the road from Sleaford to Horncastle: a stream called Billinghay Skirth is navigable for small coal-vessels, and runs into the river Witham about 3½ miles from the village. An act was passed in 1840 for the more effectual drainage of land. The living is a discharged vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 4.; net income, £450; patron, Earl Fitzwilliam. The vicarial glebe consists of about 230 acres, with a house. There are places of worship for dissenters.
BILLINGLEY, a township, in the parish of Darfield, N. division of the wapentake of Strafforth and Tickhill, W. riding of York, 6½ miles (E. by S.) from Barnsley; containing 220 inhabitants. This place, which is the property of Earl Fitzwilliam, is in the heart of a rich agricultural district: a coal-pit was opened some years since, but it has been abandoned. The village is pleasantly situated on the declivity of an eminence. The tithes have been commuted for £190, equally divided between the rector of the parish, and Trinity College, Cambridge. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans.
Billingshurst (St. Mary)
BILLINGSHURST (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Petworth, hundred of West Easwrith, rape of Arundel, W. division of Sussex, 7½ miles (S. W. by W.) from Horsham; containing in East and West Billingshurst 1439 inhabitants. It comprises 5903 acres, of which 20 are common or waste: the soil is generally clay, upon a substratum of sandstone or beds of Sussex marble. The river Arun, and the Arun and Wey Junction canal, pass through the parish; and the village is situated on the road from London to Arundel and Bognor. It is a post-town, with a corn-market on alternate Tuesdays; and at the hamlet of Adversam fairs are held for horses, cattle, and pigs. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £9. 6. 0½.: the incumbent's tithes have been commuted for £200, with a glebe of 12 acres; and the impropriate tithes, belonging to Sir C. F. Goring, Bart., the patron, for £916, with a glebe of 3 acres. The church consists of a nave, chancel, and aisles, with a tower surmounted by a lofty shingled spire. There are places of worship for Independents and Unitarians.
BILLINGSIDE, a township, in the parish and union of Lanchester, W. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 13 miles (N. W.) from Durham; containing 13 inhabitants. It comprises about 340 acres, and is situated north of the road between Shotley-Bridge and Lanchester: the river Derwent passes about three miles distant on the west.
Billingsley (St. Mary)
BILLINGSLEY (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Bridgnorth, hundred of Stottesden, S. division of Salop, 6 miles (S. by W.) from Bridgnorth; comprising about 1300 acres, and containing 149 inhabitants. Under the name Billigesleage, historians mention this place as the scene of a congress held between King Harold, and Griffin, Prince of Wales, at which they engaged to observe mutual peace and amity. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £4. 13. 4., and in the patronage of the Duke of Cleveland; the tithes have been commuted for £186, and there are twelve acres of glebe. Dr. Thomas Hyde, professor of oriental literature at Oxford, was born here in 1636.
BILLINGTON, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Leighton-Buzzard, hundred of Manshead, county of Bedford, 2 miles (S. E.) from Leighton; containing 323 inhabitants. It is situated on the road from Leighton to London through Hemel-Hempstead, and comprises by computation 1050 acres: the Grand Junction canal, and London and Birmingham railway, pass within two miles of the church. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Inhabitants; net income, £45. The church is supposed to have been erected about 300 years ago.
BILLINGTON-LANGHO, a township and district chapelry, in the parish, union, and Lower division of the hundred, of Blackburn, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 5½ miles (N. N. E.) from Blackburn; containing 988 inhabitants. In the reign of Stephen the manor was held by a family of the same name. A moiety of it was subsequently possessed by the abbey of Whalley, the other moiety being held by the Hodlestons; and in the reign of Philip and Mary, Sir Thomas Holcroft, the great dealer in abbey lands, died seised of the manor, which afterwards became the property of the Ashtons. Langho is supposed to have been the scene of a battle that occurred between Wada, a Saxon duke, one of the murderers of Ethelred, and Ardulph, King of Northumbria, in the year 798, when the former was defeated, and his army put to flight. The chapelry is bounded on the north and east by the river Calder, and in other parts by the Ribble; and comprises about 1800 acres. The surface is hilly, and the scenery very interesting: the soil is cold and wet, and in some places are pits of marl, sunk to a great depth; also quarries of stone, principally used in draining. The inhabitants are partly employed in hand-loom weaving. The Blackburn and Clitheroe railway passes through. The living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Blackburn; net income, £120. The chapel is seated in the hamlet of Langho, and is called Langho chapel; it is an ancient structure: in the south wall of the chancel is a piscina of elegant design; and inserted in the east wall is a font of a single stone, beautifully enriched with tracery. There is a Roman Catholic chapel. An asylum for insane patients was for some time conducted by the late Dr. Chew, and is now conducted by Dr. Hindle with every attention to the comfort and benefit of the inmates. A school for the instruction of the poor is supported by an endowment, and two schoolrooms have been built.
Billisborrow, or Billsborough
BILLISBORROW, or Billsborough, a township, in the parish and union of Garstang, hundred of Amounderness, N. division of the county of Lancaster, 4½ miles (S. S. E.) from Garstang, on the road to Preston; containing 157 inhabitants. The family of Billisburgh was early seated here, and in the reign of Edward II. the Banasters are mentioned as holding lands in "Billesworth." The township comprises 784 acres; the surface is undulated, the soil various and fertile, and the scenery picturesque. The river Brock passes through; and there is a station, called the Brock station, on the Lancaster and Preston railway. In the township is a paper-mill. The impropriate tithes have been commuted for £104. 3. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans. John Cross, in 1718, bequeathed property producing about £70 per annum, with a house, for the endowment of a free school for the townships of Billisborrow and Myerscough.
Billockby (All Saints)
BILLOCKBY (ALL SAINTS), a parish, in the East and West Flegg incorporation, hundred of West Flegg, E. division of Norfolk, 2½ miles (N. E.) from Acle; containing 71 inhabitants. The road from Norwich to Yarmouth intersects the parish. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £2. 8. 9.; patron and incumbent, the Rev. William Lucas: the tithes have been commuted for £147, and the glebe comprises about 2 acres. The church forms a picturesque ruin, the chancel only being fitted up for divine worship.
BILL-QUAY, a village, in the chapelry of Nether Heworth, parish of Jarrow, E. division of Chester ward, N. division of the county of Durham, 3 miles (E.) from Gateshead. This place, which has its name from being situated opposite to Bill Point, is a manufacturing district, running along the south margin of the river Tyne. The Arkendale and Derwent Mining Company have works here, where lead-ore is occasionally smelted, and where is a large mill for rolling sheet-lead, and making the various oxides of that metal, called "litharge" and "red lead:" the extraction of silver is performed by a patent process. Some extensive greenglass bottle works have been established for nearly a century and a half. There are thirteen cinder ovens in operation; a tar, naphtha, and turpentine distillery; and an establishment for distilling oil from bones, the calx of which, after having been reduced to ashes, is used in making ivory-black, &c. Among other manufactories is one for preparing colours, and making mustard; and Mr. Boutland has a large ship-building yard and floating-dock. In a deep dene called Catdene, now overgrown with forest-trees and thorns, are extensive quarries, from which it is said the stone was obtained for building the walls of Newcastle.
Billy-Row, with Crook.—See Crook.
Bilney, East (St. Mary)
BILNEY, EAST (St. Mary), a parish, in the union of Mitford and Launditch, hundred of Launditch, W. division of Norfolk, 5 miles (N. N. W.) from East Dereham; containing 218 inhabitants. It comprises 541a. 28p., of which 338 acres are arable, 140 meadow and pasture, and 46 woodland and plantations. The living is a discharged rectory, with that of Beetley, and valued in the king's books at £5. 14. 2.; patron, John Collison, Esq.: the tithes of the parish have been commuted for £112, and there are 26 acres of glebe, with a handsome parsonage in the Elizabethan style. The church is an ancient structure with a low tower. William Pearse, Esq., in 1840 built almshouses for 3 aged couples, and endowed them with land producing £63 per annum. Thomas Bilney, a learned divine, who was burnt at Norwich, in the year 1531, for preaching against popery, is said to have been born here.
Bilney, West (St. Cecilia)
BILNEY, WEST (St. Cecilia), a parish, in the union and hundred of Freebridge-Lynn, W. division of Norfolk, 6¼ miles (S. E. by E.) from Lynn; containing 298 inhabitants. The parish is intersected by the road and railway from Lynn to Norwich, and comprises by measurement 2414 acres, of which about 1500 are arable, 770 meadow, pasture, and heath, and 130 woodland. The railway has a station here. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £60; patron and impropriator, John Dalton, Esq. The church is chiefly in the early English style.
Bilsby (Holy Trinity)
BILSBY (Holy Trinity), a parish, in the union of Spilsby, Wold division of the hundred of Calceworth, parts of Lindsey, county of Lincoln, ¾ of a mile (E. by N.) from Alford; containing, with the hamlets of Asserby and Thurlby, 584 inhabitants. It comprises by computation 2800 acres, of which about 1000 are arable, and 1800 pasture and meadow. The living is a vicarage, valued in the king's books at £13. 3. 4.; patron, James Mason, Esq.; impropriators, the Trustees of Caistor grammar school: the vicarial tithes have been commuted for £150, and the glebe consists of 15 acres. The church, a very ancient edifice, has recently undergone great alterations and repairs, having been previously in a very dilapidated state. There is a place of worship for Wesleyans; and a school has a small endowment of £5 per annum.
Bilsdale, West Side
BILSDALE, WEST SIDE, a township, in the parish of Hawnby, union of Helmsley, wapentake of Birdforth, N. riding of York, 8 miles (N. W. by N.) from Helmsley; containing 168 inhabitants. This is a moorland township, extending in length between seven and twelve miles, and rising in lofty fells at Ryedale Head; it comprises by computation 6090 acres. The river Seth flows on the east in a direction nearly from north to south. In 1757, John Smales and Gregory Elsley bequeathed £120. 5., directing the proceeds to be applied to teaching six poor boys.
BILSDALE-MIDCABLE, a chapelry, in the parish and union of Helmsley, wapentake of Ryedale, N. riding of York, 7 miles (N. N. W.) from Helmsley; containing, with Bilsdale-Kirkham, 738 inhabitants. This place is on the east side of Ryedale, and includes the hamlets of Crosett and Chapel-Yate; it comprises by computation 8380 acres, of which a large portion is high moorland. The chapel, built about 20 years since, and dedicated to St. Hilda, is a neat structure with a square tower: the living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the Vicar of Helmsley, and has a net income of £91. There is a place of worship for the Society of Friends. Upon Studfast hill, in this district, the site of a Druids' temple was discovered in 1824.
Bilsington (St. Peter and St. Paul)
BILSINGTON (St. Peter and St. Paul), a parish, in the union of East Ashford, partly in the liberty of Romney Marsh, but chiefly in the hundred of Newchurch, lathe of Shepway, E. division of Kent, 8 miles (S. S. E.) from Ashford; containing 385 inhabitants. The parish consists of 2843 acres, of which 557 are in wood. It comprises the manors of Bilsington Superior, or the Priory, and Bilsington Inferior, or the Moat; and the proprietor for the time being is cupbearer to the king at his coronation, on which occasion he presents three maple cups to his majesty, and, on performing that office in person, receives the honour of knighthood. The upper part of the parish is thickly wooded, and in that portion lying in Romney Marsh are some luxuriant pastures: the soil is clay, alternated with sand; the chief crops are wheat, oats, beans, peas, and hops. Over the Royal Military canal, which passes through the parish, is a neat bridge, and adjoining it a coal and timber wharf. A fair for toys is held on the 5th of July. The living is a perpetual curacy; net income, £49; patrons and impropriators, the family of Cosway, whose tithes have been commuted for £615. A priory for Black canons was founded here, before the year 1253, by John Mansell, provost of Beverley, who dedicated it to the Blessed Virgin; its revenue was valued at the Dissolution at £81. 1. 6., and was granted in exchange for other lands to the Archbishop of Canterbury.
Bilson, county of Suffolk.—See Bildeston.
Bilsthorpe (St. Margaret)
BILSTHORPE (St. Margaret), a parish, in the union of Southwell, South-Clay division of the wapentake of Bassetlaw, N. division of the county of Nottingham, 5 miles (S.) from Ollerton; containing 244 inhabitants, and comprising 1420 acres. The living is a discharged rectory, valued in the king's books at £5. 1. 8.; patron, the Earl of Scarborough: the tithes have been commuted for £372, and there are 75 acres of glebe. The church stands on an eminence above the village; the tower, which has two bells, appears to have been built in 1663.
BILSTON, a market-town and chapelry, in the parish, borough, and union of Wolverhampton, N. division of the hundred of Seisdon, S. division of the county of Stafford, 3 miles (S. E.) from Wolverhampton, 19 (S. by E.) from Stafford, and 120 (N. W.) from London; containing 20,181 inhabitants. This place, which formerly belonged to the portionists or prebendaries of Wolverhampton, and in their charter is called "Bilsreton," was a royal demesne at the time of the Conquest, and in the reign of Edward III. was, under the appellation of "Billestune," certified to be exempt from toll. It comprises part of the manor of Stowheath, and the whole of the manor of Bradley, separated from each other by a brook which, rising at Sedgley, about two miles distant, forms one of the tributaries of the river Tame, and flows through the township. Previously to the introduction of the ironworks, Bilston merely contained a few private houses; and its population in 1695, according to the census then taken, was only 1004; but from the abundance and rich quality of its coal and ironstone, and the consequent establishment of the iron-trade, it rapidly increased in extent and population, and has become one of the largest manufacturing places in the county.
The town is situated on rising ground in the centre of a district abounding with foundries, forges, furnaces, steam-engines, and other works necessary for the various processes of the iron manufacture, of which the smoke by day and the fires by night present a scene singularly impressive. It extends nearly two miles in length, is irregularly built, and lighted with gas; the principal streets contain several substantial and handsome houses, and throughout the neighbourhood are scattered, in every direction, the numerous habitations of persons employed in the different works. The manufacture of tin, japanned and enamelled wares of every kind, iron-wire, nails, screws, iron gates and palisades, machinery, steam-engines, and all the heavier articles in the irontrade, is carried on to a very considerable extent; there are some mills for forming pig-iron into bars, and many iron and brass foundries. Clay, of which the coarser kind of pottery-ware is made, and a particularly fine sand for casting, are found in great abundance; and there are quarries of a very hard stone much valued for grindstones and troughs and for building, lying in horizontal strata of twelve layers gradually increasing in thickness from the surface. The Birmingham and Staffordshire canal, which passes near the town, and several branch canals in the vicinity, together with the Liverpool and Birmingham, and the Birmingham, Wolverhampton, and Dudley, railways, afford the means of conveying the produce of the mines, the massive productions of the foundries, and the various manufactures of the town and neighbourhood, to different parts of the kingdom. The market days, established by act of parliament in 1825, are Monday and Saturday; and the fairs, which are toll-free, are on Whit-Monday and the Monday preceding the Michaelmas fair at Birmingham.
The township comprises, exclusively of the town, 1728a. 3r. 26p. which are in cultivation. The Living is a perpetual curacy, in the patronage of the resident Householders; net income, £635. The curacy was originally founded about 1458, by the householders, at that time about fifteen in number, who endowed it with considerable portions of land, which were sequestered in the reign of Edward VI. The chapel, dedicated to St. Leonard, was built in the reign of Richard II., and rebuilt in 1826 by the united exertions of the Rev. William Leigh, then incumbent, and the parishioners. In 1830 a chapel dedicated to St. Mary was erected at an expense of £8500, which was defrayed by the Parliamentary Commissioners; it is an elegant structure, in the later English style, with an embattled tower. The minister is appointed by the incumbent of St. Leonard's, and derives his income from the rents of the pews, amounting to about £220 per annum. A church district named St. Luke's, in the centre of the town, was endowed in 1845 by the Ecclesiastical Commissioners: the living is in the gift of the Crown and the Bishop of Lichfield, alternately. There are places of worship for Baptists, Independents, Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists, Methodists of the New Connexion, and Roman Catholics; also a small Welsh chapel. A Blue-coat school, called the Town school, was founded in 1699, by Humphrey Perry, Esq. During the prevalence of the Asiatic cholera, in the autumn of 1832, this place suffered severely from its destructive ravages; in the months of August and September, 3568 of the inhabitants were attacked, and 742 died in less than seven weeks. To mitigate the aggravated sufferings of the poor, a subscription, amounting to £8536, was raised in various parts of the kingdom; and for the gratuitous education of the children under 12 years of age, in number 450, bereaved of their parents by the visitation, two excellent schoolrooms were erected from the surplus fund, and opened with much solemnity.
BILSTONE, a chapelry, in the parish of NortonJuxta-Twycross, union of Market-Bosworth, hundred of Sparkenhoe, S. division of the county of Leicester, 3½ miles (N. W. by W.) from Market-Bosworth; containing 126 inhabitants.